There are some wedding cakes that take dessert to a place of "wow!" and nothing could be more true of Sylvia Weinstock’s legendary wedding cakes. As a dessert designer to the stars, Weinstock has created confectionery statements for a host of celebrities and A-listers from Oprah, Robert De Niro, the Trumps, J.Lo, and Kim K. to the Kennedys, Clintons, and more. Her cakes have traveled around the world, often take weeks to decorate, have stood 6 feet tall and, at $30-a-slice and up, some have rung in at a whopping $70,000. InStyle sat down with the original cake maven to get the scoop on what makes her cakes so special.
What’s your favorite flavor profiles and how does a Sylvia Weinstock cake differ from the rest?
My personal favorite is lemon cake with raspberry filling ... but my husband is chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. That is probably the reason I encourage brides and grooms to select their own cake flavors and fillings so we can alternate tiers and everyone is happy. I would say that while some cake designers do beautiful art, and others do cake that tastes very good, you can count on our cakes to be both gorgeous and delicious.
What was the most extravagant cake you ever created?
Extravagant in look? Price? Size? Extravagance is in the eye of the beholder, so I've probably created quite a few.
What was the most unusual cake you can recall?
It was one of the most subtle, and least appreciated but in my mind amount the most elegant. A couple getting married at the New York Public Library had their monogram illuminated in an open book—the book, of course, was cake. It is one of my favorites.
Some sugar flowers take weeks to create. How many flowers do you typically create for a cake? How long does it take?
We never count the flowers on a cake ... rather, we add, and add, and add until it pleases the eye. That could be hundreds, or thousands. To put it in perspective, one artist can create 100 roses in a typical (40-hour) week. They are all individually hand-crafted.
How do you take a cake from a sketch to the serving plate?
We usually begin at design at the six month mark. The step-by-step process is, from the consultation and sketch, we bake, fill, ice, decorate. Sometimes this requires architectural design as well. Then comes the (sometimes tricky) business of delivery—some of the very tall cakes travel in several boxes and assembled on site.
Speaking of the business of delivery, celebrities and clients fly your cakes all over the world! How do you ensure that your delicate creations make it through security? What is the farthest distance a Sylvia Weinstock cake has traveled?
We are what are called "known, registered shippers." Our cakes travel in cargo, on nonstop flights which are often charter or private. The furthest distances? Probably Mumbai and Abu Dhabi.